Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Shop Work Between Storms

 Last week when I got out for a ride on that wet gravel I noted that my drive train had a serious "skip" to it that felt like a worn out chain. I was thinking I still had that old gold-colored Wipperman chain on this bike, but no! I had a brand new Shimano 11 speed chain on it. 

I had forgotten I had swapped out parts. I did not use a new cassette, but an old XTR one that N.Y. Roll had downloaded to me a while back that he thought might still have some life left in it. 

Guess it did not.

Soooo.... I decided to bail on that cassette and just get a brand new one coming. I went with my old tried and true choice, a SRAM PG 1130 model that has 11-36T cassette cog range. It's not the 40T low I had with that old XTR but hey! I've been getting along fine with the 36T low all this time, so no big deal there. 

Anyway, once that gets here I should be sorted, but I am taking a look at some new chain rings and perhaps a new crankset. I still rather prefer my 36/46 cyclo-cross inspired ring set, but we will see. 

The next order of business was to get those Planet Bike Cascadia ALX fenders off my bench and on to my Raleigh Tamland 2. I really have been pretty happy with the Cascadia ALX since I made the switch several years ago now. They are a LOT more stable and quiet than the Planet Bike Freddy Fenders I used to use which were great fenders, but noisy and really floppy, especially in the rear. While the Cascadia ALX's are more expensive and heavier, I think that trade off is more than worth it. 

The Planet Bike Cascadia ALX fenders over 700 X 44mm WTB Raddler tires.

Gotta love that old Raleigh! When I told the Raleigh team in 2012 that this bike should fit 700 X 42mm tires with fenders they knocked the final product out of the park. There are not too many gravel bikes out there that can do what you are looking at here: 700c X 44mm tires on 25mm internal width rims and fenders? With clearance to spare? 


Now I'm set for 'slop-season' riding which is about what we've been getting here, but for the actual cold wind chills and colder days interspersed between days up into the 40's. Monday it actually rained here all day. Today? It is supposed to start snowing and we're set to see 4"-8" of heavy, wet snow. Oh joy! 

Looks like we might actually have a fat bike season ahead of us here.


Tomcat said...

The Tamland has clearance for days! It looks well-equipped for the slop to come.

This will be my 6th “slop season” since I’ve been bitten by the gravel bug. Personally, I really enjoy slop season so as long as I’m equipped properly. That is, riding my bike with worn bottom brackets, chains/chainrings and parts that I don’t mind gunking up. I don’t know, I definitely think there’s a “coolness” factor coming out of those gravel roads covered in mud and grit. The cleanup isn’t all that fun, but I feel those rides are always the most memorable ones.

Guitar Ted said...

@Tomcat - Hey thanks for the comment! Yes, slop season is a good time if you are realistic about your expectations. As an aside, it is about the only time around here I like to use 650B wheels for their easier spin, gear range lowering diameter, and wider tire profiles that you can get on your regular gravel bike. Those wider tires sure help with flotation on mushy roads.

That said, if you have a 29'er with wider rubber, those do great in slop season as well.

Skidmark said...

Greets GT, maybe a 1/2 wore out chain would be acceptable to that “well seasoned” XTR cassette.

Guitar Ted said...

@Skidmark - Thanks, not a bad idea at all. Especially considering that those cassettes cost hundreds of dollars brand new. I've a sneaking suspicion though that it is a couple of cogs with excessive wear that are the culprit, so that complicates matters.